The present inventors conducted research to develop an in vitro solid cancer cell culture method, designed to reproduce the activities of breast cancer cells, that interacts with various matrices inside the body by providing a culture environment closer to an in-vivo tumor microenvironment. As a result of the research, the inventors identified the optimal environment for triple co-culture of breast cancer cells with fat cells and fibroblasts which are the most prominent matrix of breast cancer.
As for breast cancer tissue in the body, fibrous stroma and adipose stroma histologically coexist in many of them, and they are also located in close proximity to each other. Breast cancer and the matrices around it interact and activate each other, and it can be predicted that this would create an environment that is favorable for the cancer surviving, but there has not been enough research examining the interaction between breast cancer and matrices. Accordingly, the present invention presents a method that provides a culture environment similar to the tumor microenvironment through the triple co-culture of cancer cells with fat cells and fibroblasts. Furthermore, by amplifying the interaction between cancer cells and fat cells using fibroblasts, the present invention can reproduce more accurately the various phenotypes that real cancer cells have in vivo, such as the cancer cell’s modifications, degree of invasion, and cytokine expression patterns. This invention can therefore be useful for various in vitro assay systems for cancer cells. In conclusion, the present invention can serve as a platform technology that can be applied to various solid cancers located closely to various matrix cells in vivo, and as such, the demand for this invention could be high.